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tv   [untitled]    April 13, 2011 5:00am-5:30am PDT

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opportunity. >> i'm from the treasure island job corps, and the treasure island project will open up our jobs. >> good afternoon. i'm excited for the project, and i think that it would open up a lot of opportunities for jobs and housing for the younger generation. i just wanted to say thanks for the time. >> good afternoon, commissioners. we are very much in favor of this project moving forward. there are very many positive aspects of the project, from the
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sustainability, the affordable housing, the immediate jobs this project will create, and the open space. with regard to the affordability, the affordable housing, i think 25% is still really a very good number. i think it is a number that the city of san francisco can be very proud of. out of the 420 acres of development, 300 acres of designated open space, and out of the 300 acres, 40 acres have been set aside -- approximately 40 acres, four regional sports fields and local sports fields. i think this is so important to the city, to treasure island, the city. the city is in dire need of quality playing field at the moment, and with the kids in san out for is more quality playing fields, thereby alleviating injury to kids and adults alike, so i urge you to move this project forward. thank you. >> good afternoon, supervisors.
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i work with catholic healthcare west at st. mary's medical center and st. francis memorial hospital, and i'm here to tell you that we are working closely with the treasure island development folks to determine best options for provision of health care to the residents and visitors at treasure island. we are happy to look forward to what we can do to create a healthy community on treasure island. thank you. supervisor mar: thank you. is there anyone else that would like to speak? >> thank you, supervisors. carpenters' local 22. obviously, this project is due to our heart, but also, to the people that came up year earlier, god bless their hearts. they live here and work here. with that, let's just keep them moving. let's keep it rolling. and let's see what shakes out, but we offer the best for your support. thank you very much and have a good day.
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supervisor mar: thank you. is there anyone else that would like to speak from the public? public comment is closed. thank you for testifying. we have another information system coming of quickly within the land use committee, but thank you so much. could you please call the next two items together? >> what action would you like taken on the last item? supervisor mar: excuse me? >> continue to the call of the chair for the hearing? supervisor mar: yes, if there is no objection, we will move it to be -- continue to the call of the chair. thank you. please call items four and five. >> item four, a hearing on the effects of golden gate national recreation area's draft off leash dog policy, and item five, a resolution opposing the golden gate national recreation area's alternative for draft off leash dog management. supervisor wiener: thank you,
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chairman. i want to thank everyone, both in the chamber today as well as in the overflow room, for taking the time to be here today and to take time away from your busy schedules and your jobs and families and life to be here for this issue. i know that it is not convenient to come to city hall in the middle of the day, so thank you. we have limited public space in san francisco and a lot of different uses of those spaces. [bell rings] supervisor wiener: am i done? [laughter] ok, now we can go home. any time we have a discussion about how we utilize our limited public spaces, those discussions are controversial and results in passionate views on the subject. but we owe it to the people of san francisco to engage in these
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important discussions. many san franciscans have dogs. dogs need outdoor exercise, for recreation, and dog owners need access to outdoor space with their dogs. we have seen in san francisco city parks the conflict that some time occurs between those with dogs and those without dogs in terms of the allocation of our public spaces. each of my colleagues, i am confident, has personal experience with these kinds of discussions and disputes. one of the things that lessens the tension in our city parks is the existence of ggnra. it is beautiful. one of the true gems of the city, and the national park service should be commended for doing such a stellar job in maintaining it has a beautiful and attractive place. we all know, with everyone's opinion that over the past number of decades, san
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franciscans have relied on cards of -- parts of ggnra to walk their dogs. i think that we can all agree that the proposal will have an impact on the ability of dog owners to access these lands in the way that they have been accustomed to doing. i have serious concerns about the proposal, which is why i call for this hearing and why i introduced a resolution. i am concerned about its impact on the ability of dog owners to bring their dogs to break open spaces for recreation, and i am concerned about the impact on our city parks it dogs loose access, whether in part or in whole -- if dogs lose access to ggnra. i think we can have a ggnra that
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cares for its natural values and that also allows full recreational access to people and dogs. we do not need to view this as an either/or. this needs to be a situation where everyone wins. so we are going to -- this is really a two-part hearing. the first part will focus on the ggnra proposal, and after that is done, we will then talk about the possible regulation and permitting of commercial dog walkers in city parks. before we proceed, if any of my colleagues have any remarks? great. before we get to public comment, we have a few presentations from different perspective so we can set the tone. i really want to thank ggnra for
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coming today. i very much appreciate that. i am glad the federal government did not shut down, at least for now. i want to say thank you. we are going to start with the ggnra. mr. dean. >> think you, supervisors, for the opportunity to come before you. i and the superintendent of the golden gate national recreation area. i hope to speak to you today and bring clarity for something that is controversial. i should say at the outset that i am also a dog owner. my dog's name is ranger, of course. i understand and appreciate this issue.
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just a little bit of context, i am not sure if you're seeing the slides, golden gate national recreation area is a national area established in 1972 to protect the natural, seen it, and cultural values of the park. the second paragraph shows that it was set up to preserve public use and enjoyment. we have the recreational aspect and it talks about protecting the park in its natural setting. our challenge is really a balance. it is protecting resources and balancing the use. we have a variety of uses here.
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we provide to the public, is quite varied. all types of activity, is not just a dog walking or biking, it is all kinds of users. just a bit of context to how we got here and where we are going, back then, the default rule, that is that pets need to be on the leash. in response to increased use of the part and requests from the dog walking community, there is a policy set up by the advisory, to set up a voice control policy in certain areas of the park.
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we learned later that it had no basis in law even though it was adopted. it was an idea to try to attempt to accommodate some use. the park has grown in popularity. there were a number of dogs and people that have come to the park that has significantly increased. at the time the part policy was set up, it was an abandoned airstrip. there are other forces that have come to bear on the part. we did not know we have endangered clovers and other species that were using the park. we had to set off certain areas to protect them.
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that was the first time that we started to have some conflicts with some of our users when we started to restrict uses at certain times of the year. we had several lawsuits about dogs being off-leash. it's sort of lead to an understanding. the degradation of the resources and the general safety of our visitors. we started to look at the various constituents under the rule making process that lasted about a year-and-a-half. there was a lot of good work and systems that use of the park. -- citizens that used the park. we have an environmental
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statement that is the subject of today's discussion. this is to provide some kind of balance, employing visitor safety, reduce user complex and maintain the resources and values for the future. this is often described as a ban on dogs, it is not at all. if the proposed plan is adopted, it is not a ban. there will be some restrictions, but it is not an outright ban. the dog walking would remain in activity, there would be seven proposed areas. large portions of the beach remain open. a mile of ocean beach, a half of the christie field airfield in
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the entire beach would remain open to off-leash dog is. -- dogs. and the plan provides for a variety of experiences, including visitors that prefer not to interact with the dog. and ultimately protect critical species and habitats. we have often worked with san francisco on many issues in this plan is no different. we plan to work with the city. this plan addresses impacts ha, we are willing to work with city officials and staff to see how we can address your concerns and questions about that. we are working with many fronts in san francisco right now. where do we go from here? we need to hear from the public
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in a very constructive been substantive way -- and a substantive way. the of the plans look the same as they did at the beginning. we are open to constructive feedback. we need to hear from all groups, and all comments will be carefully reviewed. the final plan will respond to substantive comments. we believe that this unique part can have a unique rule on dog use. this plan reflects years of hard work by hundreds of people, and requires everyone pulling together. with that, i am available for questions. supervisor wiener: i was happy to hear you talk about how ggnra would be working with the city.
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would they be effectively negotiating with the city in order to take into account the needs of san francisco and its residents? whether actually be a collaborative process to shape the plan going forward? >> i would not characterize it as negotiating. we have alternatives on the table. a constructive comments from the public and working with city officials, we are all ears. supervisor wiener: i understand that the white house has instructed that under nepa, federal agents are to work with local officials.
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>> yes, we do. i am not sure how you are characterizing it, but we are all leaders. -- all ears. we have to take their comments on what we have on the table and that will inform. supervisor wiener: for example, sticking with the current management plan, working with the city to improve enforcement, would that be a possibility? >> i don't believe the current status quo is sustainable. we would not be here talking about possible changes. are you asking for some sort of a delay? supervisor wiener: i am talking about what the end result might
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be. there is a disagreement about whether the current situation is working. there is also a perspective that says it can perhaps, with some smaller changes, or changes to enforcement, to ensure good behavior. that it could be a workable solution. >> it gets into how significant the changes you're suggesting -- we don't believe that the current situation is tenable or sustainable. we see degradation of resources. we see people that are not welcome. they feel less -- they tell us that they don't feel like they can go to certain areas of the park. whether it be fencing, better
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signage, working with the city. we are open to any of those options. >> i believe we are in agreement that ggnra is an urban recreational area. >> it's a national park in an urban area. it's a national recreation area. technically. it is a national park area part of the national park system. it is not any less or any different from yosemite. supervisor wiener: if i could ask members of the public, i know a lot of us have very strong views about this, we asked people to refrain from
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speaking or applauding, booing or hissing. ggnra did not have to come today. they are here to have a conversation. would you agree that recreational uses an important part of what -- use is an important part of what ggnra is? >> it is one of our core principles. supervisor wiener: how ggnra is used, is important to take into account the needs of san francisco and its residents? >> yes, that is also one of our core tenets. whether they be from san
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francisco, rhode island, it is a national area. supervisor wiener: it states that you did consider the potential impact on san francisco and that there would not be any significant impact? >> that is what the document states. supervisor wiener: what did ggnra do to come to the conclusion that there would be no significant impact on san francisco? gosh it was not an exhaustive study. -- >> it was not an exhaustive study. we realized it was not a ban. we are shifting people around.
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we, in the end, did not believe that there will be significant impact area >> was there a numerical analysis? >> there was not. supervisor wiener: during the tsunami warning, ocean beach was shut down as a precautionary safety measure. i was not there personally, but i had been informed that if was basically over run with dogs that day. presumably, there may have been a causal connection there. were you aware of that? >> i have heard that story as
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well. if there was a connection, a mile of ocean beach would still be open. the tsunami situation was a bit different. it was not what we are proposing at all. >> with the compliance based escalation, what is the compliance? my understanding is that if there isn't a 75% compliance, it will go to the next most restrictive that would be no more off-leash? gosh it would go to perhaps no dogs or to a leased area. -- >> supervisor wiener: there would be no more off-leash dogs
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permitted? >> they are all luck that specifically. -- looked at specifically. supervisor wiener: could go to a ban on dogs in that particular area? if that plan is approved, we could have a situation where potentially all of it would be off-limits to dogs? given the level of compliance we're asking for. we are looking for 75%. we are trying to be as flexible or as reasonable as we can. we would be stepping up our
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education and our enforcement to try to revise people that there might be a change in the offing. supervisor wiener: how was the compliance going to be measured? >> we would have a third party institution develop the criteria and the system. we have not developed that yet, but it would be a third-party developed and peer reviewed. it would be posted on the web site, as well as the progress. >> has this been tried anywhere in the park system you are aware of? >> adaptive management is a tool that we use. the national seashore of north
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carolina is looking for something where they have views on the beach. i am not familiar with the dog example at the moment. supervisor wiener: is it difficult to predict what level of compliance there will be? >> we have some sense of those that are watching, they see dog walkers and they make occasional the haitians. we have a sense of how things are going out. we believe with education and cooperation that we can get there. supervisor wiener: in terms of the overall incidence that are reported, the percentage that are attributable to dogs, from five years ago, there was about 7% attributable to dogs?
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>> i am not familiar with that number. we have had a lot of freedom of information requests for data. i do know that as a percentage, it is interesting because when you compare it, the analogy is made. given the slide that i showed where we have various litigation and confusion, no clarity about what the rules are, the level of enforcement has been up and down because there was other direction given to field rangers and staff. there is obviously officer discretion as well. if you have a dog problem verses
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something more serious going on, the officer will go with a more serious case. it is hard to use that as a measure, but we will share the specifics as soon as we can. we are going to be boasting that -- posting that to the website. supervisor wiener: those are the questions i had. supervisor mar: i had a couple questions about ocean beach. can you walk us through one of the federal a threatened species? and what did you have on reports of dogs and during -- injuring them and the rationale for balance with the critical habitat and the sensitive species?
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>> at ocean beach, the area where the birds are is between the middle of golden gate park. the area is currently closed to 10 months of the year while the birds are present. we have observers that monitor the birds occasionally. they observe how birds being flushed by dogs and are running through the area or jogging along. i could provide more information if needed. it is against the law for district while life. --


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